Just a guy on the street
We left Cuernavaca today, which was fine by me, since I didn’t really have a strong sense of why the city is such a traveler’s destination. The weather beats the heck out of cold and rainy Mexico City, but other than that, it was just a cramped and pricey town filled with tourists (albeit Mexican ones). In one sense, today is the first real day of our bicycle tour, since it’s the first real day that we woke up in a town and had to figure out a route to the next town using highways. The ride from Mexico City to Cuernavaca followed the rail-trail, which is pretty different than navigating on real roads.
Is it possible that this is overkill?
Cool stairwell in a Cuernavacan home
We left town fairly quickly and passed through a number of roadside cafes. It being Sunday, roadside cafes and restaurants lined many of the roads, even out in the middle of nowhere, and whole families were eating. We rode up one hill in a pretty populated area, but as soon as we got to the top, the entire backside of the hill was an ecological area. What was about a 100-meter climb on the frontside became a 2 kilometer flying descent through forest. It was exhilarating.
M getting chased down from behind by some cattle
We stopped for lunch at one of the roadside cafes and then rode into Cuautla. What an absolutely charming city. According to the Lonely Planet guide book, Cuautla is an industrial city that’s not worth visiting. It’s moments like these that make me realize what a stupid thing it is to read that book. Sure, there may not be any major sights to see in town, but it was a beautiful town that looked half-removed from a Wild West movie. All of the buildings were faced with brightly colored plaster with the business names neatly stenciled on.
Street in Cuautla
It was Sunday, so the town squares were filled with Mexicans (didn’t see a single tourist). In this area, the men all wear cowboy hats and, adorably, the classic cowboy shirt (with the cutout leather over the shoulders). Couples were walking the streets together and making out in all of the parks (I have never seen so much public necking as I have in Mexico).
We spent several hours studying our Spanish at a café, updating our blog, and reading, before picking up a rotisserie chicken and heading back to our hotel. I should note that our hotel, which was totally decent by my standards, was across the street from the bus station and rented rooms by the hour. M was definitely not impressed to be engaged to a guy who would take her to a pay-by-the-hour hotel, despite my feeble protests that hourly room rentals make sense for people who have a very long bus layover. What do you guys think? Were we unwitting tourists at a clandestine lover’s hideaway, or can legitimate hotels rent by the hour?
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